Tuesday, March 06, 2007

¡Ay, caramba!

Hugo Chávez doesn't appear to know how to stay out of the news, but I suppose that's just more good news for people like me who blog about authoritarian regimes.

This week, Chávez is raving about the United States. Yes, I hear you say, but what else is new? Well, for starters, the Venezuelan strongman has claimed that he is facing an imminent threat of assassination by the Central Intelligence Agency, and specifically claimed that US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte is the "professional killer" hired to do the job. Ironically, these comments show just how out of date Comrade Chávez is. The Central Intelligence Agency has been a broken shell of its former self since the end of the Cold War, and most people would doubt it has the ability to knock off the government of Nauru, much less Venezuela.

Nevertheless, Chávez has spent billions of the oil money generated by Yanqui gasoline buyers to go on the world's largest military spending spree. Did you know that Venezuela now has the continent's largest submarine fleet - with more submarines than Brazil and Argentina combined? Well, now you know. For years, Chávez has been predicting that a full blown US invasion will happen at "any moment", and the Venezuelan military has been on high alert bravely defending the motherland against an enemy who looks on with bemused disinterest. While the sight of a dictator ranting about imaginary threats is amusing up here in the United States, it's decidedly less entertaining for Venezuelans, many of whom fear that Chávez will be using the non-existent threat of an American assault as a pretext to declare an indefinite state of emergency - a move which would grant him even greater executive powers to deliver the coup de grâce to his political opposition.

Faced with spiraling inflation due to out of control social and military spending, Chávez desperately needs to find a way to hang on through the upcoming economically turbulent times to come. Will his latest attempt to deflect attention be enough to hang on when the Central Bank runs out of hard currency? Will he increase propaganda spending abroad to try and get sympathetic Western leftists to bail him out? That all remains to be seen, but I have one more pressing question for Presidente Chávez:

Will he stop putting goddamned berets on poor, defenseless Amazon parrots?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For the record, we promote the Bolivarian process voluntarily and receive no money from VZ - though that would be nice :)

Americans for Chavez